Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Honeydew Melon

honeydew melonIn the northern hemisphere, the first day of summer is rapidly approaching as the mercury climbs up the thermometer. The search is on for the most refreshing summer recipes to tickle your taste buds at cookouts, pool parties and sunny brunches. One fruit that is sure to put you in the summer spirit is honeydew melon. Bursting with flavor, this melon is versatile, delicious and ancient. Today we’re bringing you some juicy facts about the honeydew, along with a recipe that utilizes another of our favorite ancient ingredients, kefir (Don’t miss our post about ancient kefir). Melon-Kefir Ice Pops will satisfy your sweet summer cravings. But first, let’s check out some ancient facts about this yummy melon.

  • The honeydew most likely originated in Persia.
  • Ancient Egyptians loved honeydew melon. The melons appear in hieroglyphics from 2400 BCE.[1]
  • In ancient Egypt, the honeydew was sacred and only eaten by those in high society.[2]
  • The ancient Romans enjoyed honeydew melon and brought it with them to Europe as they conquered the Roman Empire.[3]
  • Even though it was the Romans who brought the melon to Europe, it didn’t become popular until the 15th century CE, when the French royal court fell in love with the fruit and made it famous throughout Europe.[4]
  • Pope Paul II adored the soft green melon.[5]
  • Christopher Columbus carried honeydew melon seeds with him when he sailed to the New World.[6]
  • The Spanish explorers who settled in California cultivated honeydew melon, and today most of the honeydew melon produced in the United States is grown in California.[7]
  • “The main nutrients found in honeydew melon include the B vitamins, niacin and thiamine, Vitamin C, copper and potassium. Regular consumption of honeydew melons can improve overall health, particularly, a stronger immune system and smoother, more radiant skin.”[8]

So, now that you know a little bit more about this ancient fruit, let’s get right to the recipe!

 

Melon-Kefir Ice Pops

Recipe courtesy of Tasting Table

Ingredients

  • One 3-pound honeydew melon
  • ¾ cup plain kefir
  • ⅓ cup mashed avocado (½ avocado)
  • ¼ cup peeled and diced cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions

  • Cut the melon crosswise and, using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds. Scoop out 3 cups of flesh and combine with the sugar in a large bowl. Set aside to macerate, tossing occasionally, for at least 1 hour, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the macerated melon with the kefir, avocado, cucumber, salt and vanilla. Blend or process to form a smooth purée. Transfer to a 4-cup liquid measuring cup and stir in the cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more sugar if needed. Makes about 4 cups of purée.
  • Pour the melon purée into each ice-pop mold. Cover and insert sticks. Freeze until solid, 5 to 6 hours.
  • Unmold the ice pop by dipping each mold into warm water for 10 to 15 seconds. Serve immediately.

[1] Murray, M. T., Pizzorno, J. E., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The encyclopedia of healing foods. New York: Atria Books.

[2] Fun Facts of Honeydew Melon – Serving Joy – Inspire Through Sharing. (2015). Retrieved June 07, 2016, from http://servingjoy.com/fun-facts-of-honeydew-melon/

[3] Murray.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Fun Facts of Honeydew Melon.

[6] Murray.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Fun Facts of Honeydew Melon.

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